As I told you all, a couple weeks ago, my friend Kim ran a double marathon: Running with Scissors which John and I crewed for her. I asked her to write a guest post on her experience doing the race. She provided me with an awesome recap of it, so I’ve decided to include it on here. Today, I will post Part 1 of her race report, then tomorrow, I’ll post Part 2. So here it is! Enjoy reading it! I sure did!
How does one describe the experience of traveling 52.4 miles in one day by foot? Hard. Fun. Miserable. Incredible. Ridiculous. Insane. Awesome. Surreal. I’m not sure if it’s possible to articulate all of the different emotions, memories, and all of the ups and downs that were experienced last Sunday!
So let’s start at the very beginning of the story – January 2013. My older brother Chris asked me if I wanted to train with him for the Cincinnati Flying Pig Half Marathon that spring. Having rarely ventured out passed the 3-4 mile distance, I hesitantly agreed because I thought that it would be a good challenge, I could try something new and I could share a cool experience with my brother. Little did I know that I would cross the finish line that May and fall head over heels in love with running! ………… A half marathon, a full marathon, a 50K—1 year and 10 months later, I found myself trudging up a ridiculous mountain in Hinckley, Ohio attempting to run 52.4 miles in one shot! At that point I had grown accustomed to those stupid-hard mountains because I had been a knucklehead about race-selections…. The full-marathon was in the “wild and wonderful” mountains of West Virginia because I thought it would be the perfect halfway-distance for my family to drive to. I switched the 50K location from a flat state park in Ohio to the “South Mountain Reservation” in New Jersey because again, I wanted my family to be there! Thankfully though, the hills in the double-marathon paled in comparison to WV and NJ!
My good friend and running-mentor Hannah Stedge told me about the “Running with Scissors Double Marathon” when I first started thinking about venturing into ultras. Despite her horror stories, I looked up the date and details and began training for it this past June, about a month after completing the 50K. In the beginning of October, I found an AWESOME non-profit Christian organization in Dayton, Ohio called “SHOES 4 THE SHOELESS.” This group goes into the public schools in Dayton and distributes new shoes, new socks and a Bible to kids in need! After talking with the founder and director of the program, I felt called to raise some money for S4TS! In just two weeks, friends and family from all parts of life donated about $600!
Now that you have the background story leading up to the double-marathon, I will do my best to describe the 12 ½ hours that were spent on the trails that day! Hannah, her husband John, our friend Steve and I all drove up to Cleveland the day before to spend the night with some of my friends who live about 25 minutes from the race site. We ate at Olive Garden and then attempted to get a few hours of sleep before leaving for Hinckley at 5AM! While I was eating breakfast around 4:15AM, I went on Facebook to check the status of the fundraiser (my goal was to raise $10 for each of the 52.4 miles) and discovered that 2 more people donated online to bring us above and beyond the $530 goal!
We had about 20 minutes to hangout before the race and then a few minutes before 6AM, the race director met with us to let us know that the park was open until 11PM and that we could take as long as we needed to finish! As we headed out to the starting line, I put my headlamp on only to find that it was dead! THANKFULLY, Hannah brought her headlamp and let me use it! (This is reason #534,893 that Hannah and John were the best crewers anyone could ask for) After we took a few pre-race pictures, we all headed out into the dark woods with less than 4 miles to travel before the first aid station….
That’s all for today! Check back tomorrow for Kim’s detailed report of how the race went from her perspective!! Seriously, you won’t want to miss it–it’s a good read!!